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Building hope for socially disadvantaged families in Romania

May 17, 2012

Ploiesti/Bratislava (May 17, 2012) – Almost 100 volunteers from Whirlpool Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will travel in the middle of May to Ploiesti, Romania. The company’s employees come to take part in a Habitat project to help build homes for 12 families in need of improving their living conditions. Volunteers from 10 countries of the region will work in two teams, each group spending at the construction site in Ploesti two working days.

The housing situation in Ploesti, an industrial town north of the Romanian capital, is desperate. There are around 230 social housing units, mostly dormitory rooms with shared bathrooms and kitchens. However, the demand is much higher than the supply. More than 240 families are on the waiting list for accommodation. Most of them live in substandard homes with no water or electricity. Habitat for Humanity projects aim to assist socially disadvantaged families in getting simple and decent homes by constructing new housing blocks.

The two Whirlpool teams will work on the construction of 3 blocks that will house 4 families. The volunteers will be building alongside 12 families who will move into the new houses. They will start with installing wooden frames, putting up walls and completing interior and exterior decorations.

“Working with Habitat is the perfect way to give back. After increasing our support and expanding help to Africa and the Middle East last year, Whirlpool EMEA is sending even more volunteers from across the region to celebrate, support and give back to the community within which we work,” says Jose Drummond, President of Whirlpool EMEA.

Habitat programs are not a social handout program. All the beneficiaries are expected to take an active part in the construction of their new homes, as well as repay part of the house costs. All the funds go into the fund out of which more homes can be constructed.

“Having a safe, clean, secure place to live means huge improvements in the families’ health, education, welfare and their overall well-being. This in turn helps families help themselves and turn the cycle of poverty into a circle of prosperity. We are grateful to our corporate partners who help us achieve this prosperity,” says Heather Alner, Corporate Engagement Manager, Habitat for Humanity Europe and Central Asia.

Whirlpool has been among the most committed partners of Habitat for Humanity in Europe and Central Asia. Last year, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the corporation, Whirlpool Europe, Middle East and Africa sent 100 employees to build homes in Romania. Every year, the corporation sends one team of volunteers from throughout the region. This year, to show its commitment to the charitable causes, the company decided to send out two teams.

Whirlpool is also one of the largest global partners of Habitat for Humanity International. It has supported the charity since 1999. Whirlpool has contributed to the charity in many different ways from product donations to financial contributions.

About Whirlpool Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA)
With around 11,500 employees, a sales presence in over 30 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa and manufacturing sites in seven countries, Whirlpool EMEA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Whirlpool Corporation. The world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, Whirlpool Corporation had annual sales in 2011 of $18.7 billion, 68,000 employees, and 66 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Whirlpool’s European Operations’ Center is located in Comerio (VA), Italy. For further information on the company, please visit the Web Site www.whirlpoolcorp.com.

About Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by building and improving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. An estimated 17,000 of these families are in Europe and Central Asia, where Habitat has been active since the mid-1990s. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitateurope.org.